Fashion is a cutthroat, competitive, and fast-growing industry.
According to eMarketer, ecommerce fashion sales totaled $394 billion in 2019 and are projected to reach $612 billion by 2025, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.5%.
Trends are introduced at a lightning-fast pace. Fast fashion brands like Zara have a five-week design-to-retail cycle, allowing them to release new collections 20 times a year.
If you're in the ecommerce fashion space, you’ll need to keep up with trends while ensuring your website runs optimally. This ecommerce guide shares tips to improve your fashion ecommerce website.
Specifically, you’ll learn:
- Importance of Improving the Fashion Ecommerce Website User Experience
- Fashion Ecommerce Website Examples
- 14 Fashion Ecommerce Trends to Watch Out For
- Make Your Own Fashion Ecommerce Site
Importance of Improving the Fashion Ecommerce Website User Experience
Online shopping has become increasingly popular in recent years because it offers a convenient and efficient way to purchase goods and services.
However, a bad user experience (UX) can spoil the online shopping experience. A good UX, on the other hand, offers multiple benefits. It establishes credibility, enhances user engagement, builds loyalty, and helps you make more sales.
Thus, when designing your online store, create a positive UX that keeps customers coming back. Here are the most critical factors that contribute to a good UX and how to optimize your ecommerce store for them.
Your website will be handling lots of personal and financial information, which can be dangerous when it falls into the hands of cybercriminals. Give customers peace of mind knowing their sensitive information stays safe.
Some ways to secure your ecommerce website include:
- Installing SSL certificates.
- Ensuring your website is PCI-compliant.
- Using security plugins.
- Keeping your site updated.
- Conducting regular security audits.
- Getting a secure web host.
Some ecommerce web hosting plans like Nexcess include built-in SSL certificates and security plugins, so you don't have to purchase or install them separately. They also conduct regular maintenance and backups to update your website automatically.
Website speed is another crucial factor in user experience — much so that Google made it a ranking factor via the Core Web Vitals update. Slow page speeds not only impact SEO but frustrate potential customers, causing them to abandon their shopping carts.
Here are some ways to speed up your website:
- Optimize images for page speed. Compress images and choose the right size and file format.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN). CDNs store your static files like images and videos in different locations. The file is retrieved from the nearest location when a user accesses your website.
- Choose the right web host. Your web host determines how fast or slows your website loads. That’s why it’s important to choose a web host built for speed, like Nexcess.
Shoppers often come to your website looking for something. Make the shopping experience as seamless as possible by helping them quickly find what they're looking for.
Your homepage should draw the user and make them want to explore your website further. You can do that by including high-resolution photos and videos and designing your site according to your branding.
Your homepage should also contain the menu, so customers can easily explore the site and find what they need. Group products into categories and ensure each page maintains a clear visual hierarchy.
You don't need design chops to do this; ecommerce website templates make it easy to create a user-friendly website.
Nearly 60% of users access the internet via their mobile phones. So, if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you lose a lot of potential customers. One way to address this is by adopting a responsive design.
A responsive design contributes to good UX by allowing your website to adapt to all screen resolutions and sizes to look good on all devices.
Detailed Product Pages
Customers purchasing online don't have the luxury of touching or trying out the items in person. Give them as much detail on your product page as possible so they can make purchasing decisions quickly.
That means writing detailed product descriptions and taking product photos and videos from different angles to showcase the item.
Fashion Ecommerce Website Examples
Now that we’ve covered the most important factors for a good user experience, let’s learn how to make your ecommerce website stand out by looking at four fashion ecommerce websites putting those principles into action.
One of the secrets behind the quick rise of Chinese fashion retail giant Shein is its comprehensive product pages. Shein’s CEO used to work in SEO, so he applied his expertise to Shein’s website.
Shein shares detailed descriptions for each clothing item, like color, material, style, size, and fit. They take product photos from different angles and have an online size guide to ensure that the items fit their customers.
Bombas’s website is a great example of a navigable fashion ecommerce site. The brand arranges its products according to different types, styles, activities, and collections so customers can easily find items.
Everlane’s website is a great case in ecommerce homepage design.
The brand highlights its featured product at the center of its homepage, mentioning its key attributes. The menu is above the centerfold showing the different categories for easy navigation.
Going through Zara’s website feels like going through the pages of a magazine, which is a trend in ecommerce web design.
Besides that, Zara’s website also displays excellent use of photos and videos to sell products.
14 Fashion Ecommerce Trends to Watch Out For
As you improve your fashion website, it’s also important to be aware of current and future industry trends to shape your ecommerce strategy and stay ahead of the competition.
Here are 14 fashion trends to watch out for:
1. Omnichannel Ecommerce
Omnichannel ecommerce is a multichannel sales approach that gives customers a seamless shopping experience across all channels.
That means customers receive a continuous and consistent experience whether they're shopping online, in-store, or using a mobile app.
For example, a customer window shops on a store’s mobile app. If they like something, they can buy it directly from the website. Say the customer wants to see what the item looks like in real life. The customer then searches the app for the nearest store where the item is available. The customer goes to the store & purchases the item there.
Implementing an omnichannel strategy requires businesses to fully understand their target audience and prioritize the channels most relevant to their customers.
Thus, it requires tight coordination between all departments — marketing, sales, and customer service.
When done correctly, omnichannel ecommerce can significantly boost a company's bottom line. A 2021 Symphony RetailAI study that analyzed over 421 million online shopping carts found that omnichannel customers spent 20% more than those who shopped exclusively in stores. It's also been shown to lead to increased customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Joe Troyer, CEO of ReviewGrower, shares to Shopify, “Shoppers who use several channels are more likely to be around for a lengthy time. In fact, omnichannel shoppers were 23% more likely to return to the store in the six months following their first purchase, and they were also more inclined to suggest the brand.”
2. Eco-Friendly Fashion
Saving the earth and looking fashionable, while being profitable don’t have to be mutually exclusive —and eco-friendly fashion proves that.
The ethical fashion industry is expected to grow from $6.3 billion in 2020 to $10.1 billion in 2025, driven by a growing interest that started during the 2020 pandemic.
The pandemic exposed several issues in the fashion industry, including supplier relationships, wastage, greenhouse gas emissions, overproduction, and poor worker conditions in sweatshops.
Consumers — especially millennials and Gen-Z — have become more aware of the environmental impact of their clothing choices and are looking for ways to reduce their footprint.
According to the new Barclay’s retail report, two-thirds of younger shoppers have no qualms about abandoning their favorite shops if they don't show any commitment to sustainability. They back up their commitment to sustainable brands by saying they were also willing to pay more for responsibly-sourced products.
Thus, one out of five retailers surveyed said they’ve let go of suppliers who didn't meet their ethical standards.
At any rate, sustainable clothing looks like a trend that’s here to stay.
3. Genderless or Unisex Fashion
Genderless or unisex fashion is not a new concept — the Japanese have been doing it for years — but the 2020 pandemic seemed to accelerate its popularity. According to the shopping platform Lyst, searches for fashion pieces, including agender-related keywords, have increased by 33% since the start of 2021.
The rise in genderless fashion can be attributed to the increasing awareness of LGBTQIA+ and more open dialogues about gender and sexuality. It was also fueled by major fashion moments by pop culture icons like Harry Styles wearing a feather boa during the 2021 Grammy’s and Kid Cudi wearing a dress during his SNL appearance in April 2021.
Brands looking to capitalize on the gender-neutral fashion trend will find it cost- and time-efficient as they can save on design, sourcing, and manufacturing.
Athleisure is a clothing style designed to be worn for exercising and everyday activities that gained popularity in the early 2010s and regained momentum during the pandemic.
In 2021, the sports apparel market in the U.S. was valued at $105 billion. It is projected to grow to $130 billion by 2025, fueled by consumers working (and working out) from home who want to be comfortable yet presentable — whether they’re taking Zoom meetings or going for a socially-distanced run.
5. AR & VR Fashion
Fashion ecommerce websites are starting to offer augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences to give shoppers a better sense of their clothes in real life.
These experiences range from simple product visualization to full-fledged fashion shows in virtual reality. Fashion retailers can use AR and VR to give shoppers a more immersive and realistic experience to help them make more informed purchase decisions.
For example, in 2019, luxury fashion house Gucci partnered with Snapchat to let users “try” popular items from its sneakers collection. With Snapchat’s integrated “Shop Now” feature, Gucci was hitting two birds with one stone: winning over Gen-Z audiences and making the shopping experience as seamless as possible.
Gucci was the first luxury fashion house to partner with the social media platform to drive sales with an AR tool.
AR and VR can also be used to create unique and engaging marketing experiences that generate buzz and excitement around new fashion collections.
As AR and VR technology becomes more ubiquitous, expect more fashion retailers to adopt these technologies.
6. Buy Now, Pay Later
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) is a type of short-term loan offered to customers that allows them to buy clothing and accessories without paying for the whole amount at the time of the transaction. Instead, the customer pays a portion of the total amount at checkout and the remaining amount is paid for in installments at a future date.
Driven by low interest rates and minimal credit checks, 60% of customers (mostly millennials and Gen-Z) admitted they have used BNPL during the pandemic.
Businesses with BNPL have seen a 20-30% increase in conversion rate and 30-50% increase in ticket size, on average.
Offer BNPL as an ecommerce payment option at checkout and let BNPL providers like Affirm and Klarna handle everything.
Holding sales isn't new to the ecommerce space — retailers do it frequently to move products and drive conversions. According to 60% of U.S. consumers, discounts are important and helpful during times of economic uncertainty like lockdowns.
Discounts can be hit-or-miss, so experiment with different discount pricing strategies to encourage more purchases.
8. Product Bundling
Product bundling is a retail strategy that involves selling a curated collection of related products. It is often used in cosmetics. In fashion ecommerce, it’s known as “selling the look.”
Product bundling moves unpopular products and increases product awareness by giving customers a chance to try products they wouldn't have bought alone. It also makes the buyer’s journey frictionless because the customer doesn’t have to decide whether or not to buy each item. When they pick a bundle, all they see is one price tag.
Product bundling is effective at increasing sales. Shopify says 10%–30% of ecommerce revenue comes from upselling and cross-selling through product bundles.
For fashion ecommerce sites, give customers the option to purchase the whole look or buy each piece — as Asos does.
9. AI Recommendations
More fashion retailers are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to give customers more personalized recommendations.
According to a 2021 McKinsey report, seven out of ten consumers expect personalization and get frustrated when they don't find it. Specifically, customers want companies to give them personalized product or service recommendations and offer them targeted promotions.
Plus-size fashion brand Eloquii provides AI recommendations through “customers also viewed” or “you may also like” features by looking at your previous purchases, wish lists, and browser history — a feature that boosts your average order. Other fashion ecommerce sites take it a step further and offer virtual style assistants that suggest outfits. These assistants can be real humans or even chatbots.
These suggestions increase average order values; no wonder companies excelling in personalization generate 40% more revenue.
10. Video Content
More and more retailers turn to video content to show off their products. After all, what’s a better way to sell fashion items than showing how they’re worn or used in real life?
Using video content for sales builds trust, boosts sales, and improves ROI. It can be a great way to connect with customers and build brand loyalty.
If you need inspiration, check out the latest ecommerce video marketing trends.
11. Social Selling
Another fashion ecommerce trend we’re seeing is social media marketing expanding into social commerce, or the use of social media channels to sell products. Sales from social commerce are expected to triple by 2025.
The early 2010s saw the rise of influencer marketing on social media, wherein brands would subtly pay content creators to promote products on their social feeds.
While influencer marketing encouraged people to shop, the problem now was the shopping experience itself: it just had too much friction. Users would leave the platforms to shop, which the social media companies didn't like because it took time off the site.
Since then, social platforms have come up with features to support in-feed shopping — benefitting merchants, social platforms, and even influencers.
With social selling, customers can purchase the products directly from their social media feeds. Brands and influencers can post links on their social sites that lead to the retailer’s page, where customers can complete their purchases. Influencers can earn a percentage of sales through affiliate marketing.
Top social selling platforms include Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Although some 30% of U.S. shoppers purchase from social media, social commerce is not as popular as in China, where 50% of all retail sales come from ecommerce.
If U.S. merchants want to increase social commerce sales, they should look to China.
12. Personalized Shopping Experiences
Personalized shopping experiences are becoming more and more popular, especially in the fashion ecommerce space.
By understanding a shopper's preferences, fashion websites can provide a truly unique and individualized shopping experience that caters to their specific taste— resulting in a more enjoyable experience for the shopper and increasing the likelihood of conversion.
By collecting customer data, businesses custom-tailor the shopping experience to each individual. For example, brands use AI to generate recommendations based on a shopper's browsing behavior, recommending similar items based on their recent search history.
Other brands use the data to ensure product fit and offer customized products.
For example, underwear brand Pepper designs bras for smaller cup sizes and even lets customers take a size quiz so they can recommend a better-fitting bra.
As personalized shopping experiences become more common and customers become more accustomed to this level of customization, businesses will need to find ways to keep up with the trend.
13. High-Quality Content
Content marketing is another growing trend in the fashion ecommerce space. Today’s customers are tuning out ads, opting to look for information themselves.
According to a Digital.com survey, 54% of customers read reviews before purchasing anything, and 88% of online shoppers read at least three reviews before making a purchase.
Customers also love it when a brand “gets” them.
A Redpoint-commissioned study found that 80% of customers are more likely to shop with brands that show they understand their customer’s needs by offering personalized content. The same study found that 78% of consumers found it frustrating when a retailer’s communications are inconsistent.
Enter content marketing.
Investing in personalized content helps you build customer loyalty. It also lets you control the brand narrative, allowing you to broadcast a cohesive message across your channels. By choosing the types of content to share, you subtly influence your customer.
Publishing content also contributes to your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
Madewell is a brand that does content marketing well.
They regularly feature people whose advocacies tie into theirs on the Madewell blog. Their interviewees are wearing Madewell, with links to the products they're wearing. It’s the perfect combination of content and commerce without feeling too salesy.
When you’re ready to start your content marketing efforts, create an ecommerce content marketing plan.
14. Brand Community
Growing a brand community is one of the best ways for companies to connect with their customers on a more personal level.
Brand communities provide a sense of belonging for their members and can be an essential source of information and support. They can be an invaluable marketing tool for companies, providing insight into customer needs and preferences, which is useful during product development.
Having a brand community is an excellent way to attract and keep customers. You can build a brand community by creating a loyalty program, affiliate program, or even linking your social media accounts to your ecommerce page.
The most important thing about building a community is choosing a community platform. Your audience should be on the platform, and the platform should tie into your goals. Examples of platforms where businesses build their communities include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Nike is a brand that understands community building.
The Nike Run Club app brings people with a shared love of running together. Members can learn more about running and discuss it with their fellow members. Not to mention, the app also brings in commercial opportunities. Nike can use the community to promote new running gear.
Make Your Own Fashion Ecommerce Site
The fashion industry is constantly changing, and entrepreneurs must be willing to adapt to stay ahead of the competition.
Following the tips in this article can improve your ecommerce website and increase sales. Stay up to date on the latest trends and keep your ecommerce website optimized to make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for.
If you want to build an ecommerce store, there are different ecommerce website builders available in the market that help you get started in minutes — like StoreBuilder by Nexcess.
StoreBuilder is an intelligent website assistant that helps you launch a WooCommerce store in minutes. It comes with everything you need to build an ecommerce site, including:
- Drag-and-drop design tools and custom templates
- Ecommerce features such as abandoned cart recovery and customer reviews
- Reporting and analytics
StoreBuilder is powered by Nexcess’ fully managed WooCommerce hosting, which takes care of website performance, updates, and security.
Contact us today to learn more about our WooCommerce hosting plans and how we can help you take your business to the next level.